Basic Tip: If not controlled/reviewed, using your stores’ capabilities and resources to ship from the store is an easy way for an employee to move unpaid-for merchandise out of your store. To combat/deter this – review any and all shipments made from stores and cross reference them to employee address files, receipts of sales made and/or known addresses to ensure no fraud has taken place.
Advanced Tip: If shipping from your store is a shared responsibility amount employee, one warning sign of possible fraud is the consistent request or action of a single associate to complete the task. To combat/deter this – ensure multiple associates share the responsibility of shipping from your store to your customers or add an approval/sign off at the end of the process before pickup is made at the store.
Basic Tip: Coupon stacking is a way for associates to fraudulently discount merchandise that they will then purchase at well below full retail value. To help deter this – set a limit or policy on the number of coupons that the register can take (depending on the register either by item or percentage of total transaction).
Advanced Tip: To identify potential incidents of coupon stacking – you can review discounts by transactions. For example: # of Coupons greater than # will show you potential transactions where associates took more coupons than items scanned.
Basic Tip:Make bank deposit drops daily and always have a secondary associate accompany the manager when completing the bank deposit drop.
Advanced Tip:Create and use a Bank Deposit log for tracking all deposits created and documenting when they have been dropped off at the bank or picked up by an armored car service.
Basic Tip: Inventory prep is one of the most important steps in the inventory cycle to ensure that the physical inventory is a success. At minimum - ensure that all items have SKU tags/barcodes, items are properly placed either on the sales floor or stock room, and “Do Not Inventory” tags are used for items that do not need to be inventoried.
Advanced Tip: During inventory prep you will want to open up every box and inspect them to ensure any/all sellable merchandise is identified and placed where it can be inventoried. Come up with a sign off process (For example: date/time and name of employee) to place either in the stock room area or box to ensure ALL employees know what has and has NOT been checked prior to inventory.
Basic Tip: During the holidays, shopping centers will have increased foot traffic and thus an increased exposure to crime. Ensure that your stores and teams are prepared to face the physical security challenges such as: Emergency contacts are updated and accurate, emergency evacuation plans are reviewed, associates are not leaving stores/walking to vehicles alone (“Buddy System”), and/or emergency closing/opening procedures are reviewed.
Advanced Tip: Mall/center security can be utilized, when requested, to do walk through of stores and/or escorts of associates to/from vehicles. This can be beneficial in the event of an incident occurring at the store with a problem persons/customer.
Basic Tip: Physical security of your data (register along with company proprietary information) is equally important to physical security of people and inventory. Consider implementing a visitor/vendor policy that defines when a visitor/vendor can come into your store, what a visitor/vendor can/cannot do in your store and more importantly how they obtain access into your store.
Advanced Tip: Vendor access to your stores should be more restrictive than a “visitor,” since a visitor can be defined as a company representative or government official. Vendor access to your store should ONLY be pre-approved and should be confirmed before access is granted. For example: An approved vendor list, a contract to provide services or product to sell, a work order for repairs and/or approval from a company representative. If a vendor cannot be confirmed then they should not be granted access to the store and should be turned away immediately.
Basic Tip: Added fitting room controls are a tool to use to deter shoplifting – such as closing/locking doors when rooms are not in use, maximum limit of items that can go into the room, employees must place merchandise and customer in room – are all good ideas of how to maintain control of the fitting rooms.
Advanced Tip: If your employee is the person to place both the customer and merchandise in the room, the employee will have a great idea of what is in the room. This is an opportunity to not only deter shoplifting or possibly recover the concealed merchandise – but also for the selling opportunity as well.
Basic Tip: Initial customer interaction is crucial to not only providing a welcoming shopping experience but setting the first impression of sales floor awareness and deterring a shoplifter.
Advanced Tip: Sincere re-engagement of customers throughout their shopping experience is also important to both sales and deterrence of shoplifting behavior. The more specific you can be regarding the customer’s selection, the better the deterrence.
Basic Tip: Fraudulent use of a credit card is overwhelmingly the #1 chargeback retailers are facing today. Some warning signs of possible fraudulent use of a credit card are: Selection of merchandise without paying attention to price, size or color or items and not trying them on if apparel and/or purchase of either large quantities or large dollar amount gift cards especially when it is not during a holiday.
Advanced Tip: Not fully EMV (Chip and Pin) compliant? One of the things you can do is to verify the last 4 digits of the physical card compared to what is shown on your register or receipt. If the numbers do not match – then either cancel or void the transaction and request another form of payment.